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Homemade Gifts: Vanilla Extract

By Ole & Shaina Olmanson |

Vanilla extract is easy to make, and while it needs to sit for 2 or so months before you use it, there’s nothing to say you can’t gift it before then with a “Use after” sticker. What? No other procrastinators in the room? Really, is it procrastinating if you’ve been working and running and trying to stay afloat during a busy family time of the year? Perhaps it’s just a sign that we should all sit back, take a deep breath and drink the extract…

Vanilla extract is simple: vodka and vanilla beans. I like to buy huge, plump vanilla beans from Costco. They’re extra long, and they come in a sealed tube. Pair those with some cute bottles and vodka, and you’re on your way to pure extract.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

2-3 vanilla beans (depending on size of your bottle; 1 bean for every 4-6 ounces)
glass bottles or canning jars

Split the beans down one side. Place in the bottle. Fill the bottle with vodka. Seal. Allow to sit in a cool, dark place for 2-3 months before using as extract in your favorite recipes.

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About Ole & Shaina Olmanson


Ole & Shaina Olmanson

Shaina Olmanson is the food writer and home cook behind Food for My Family. Shaina can usually be found in one of three places: cooking, at the computer or behind the camera. These three things occur in the kitchen simultaneously with her four children hanging from her apron strings as she teaches them to cook and the importance of eating locally, seasonally, organically and together. She is a former Babble Food blogger.

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0 thoughts on “Homemade Gifts: Vanilla Extract

  1. Amber @ says:

    I made vanilla just like this last year using vodka, but I hear that bourbon is also a good liquor to use, so that’s what I’m going to try this year. Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Amanda says:

    Beautiful! And so practical! And SOOOOOO much better then the store bought stuff!!


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